A Rare Break from Insanity of D.C. Liquor Laws

District ends fine for 'first time offender' bars caught selling to minors

The District has a well-known reputation as a staunch opposer of fun, most notably for its many laws restricting the consumption and availability of alcohol, which helps many people get through the day.

This is what makes the District's new "one-year trial" offering leniency to violators of one alcohol law such a surprising move.

Unlike most other major metropolitan areas in the country where you can simply buy lots of alcohol from any store at any time of day, D.C. laws make it impossible to buy any alcoholic product from a store after grandmother's bedtime.

This forces the District's young adults -- and regular adults, and older adults -- to go to bars in such terrifying areas as Adams Morgan. (Adams Morgan is basically a paved version of the River Styx, with more vomit.)

Local laws have never been kind to bar owners in nightlife spots, either. In recent times, any bar caught serving to minors would be punished with a $1,000 fine and a two-day liquor license suspension. This deterrent made it so that if you were under the age of 97, getting into a bar was more or less a crapshoot.

...Until last month!:

Under the new law, first-time offenders who sell liquor to a minor will get a [warning] instead of a $1,000 fine and a two-day liquor license suspension.

It also increases the penalties for repeat offenders.

Still, some people simply will not stand for this sudden bacchanalia. One resident explains, "If you lessen the penalty they are just going to do it again and again and again," noted one bar goer.

Interesting logic, since the penalties are now -- again -- tougher on the repeat offenders. But yes, this is all the liberal media's fault.

Jim Newell has never "done alcohol" while writing for Wonkette and IvyGate.

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